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Manchester United win the U18 Premier League Cup

[Credit: Ash Donelon]

Manchester United were crowned U18 Premier League Cup champions after a 2-1 victory against rivals Manchester City in the final at Leigh Sports Village.

A first-half brace from Ethan Wheatley proved to be enough for United to secure the trophy despite Stephen Mfuni’s late goal sparking hopes of a City comeback.

Adam Lawrence’s side secured their first piece of silverware this season and they have the opportunity for another as they have already won the U18 Premier League North which earns them a place in the grand final against the winners of the southern section.

The Red Devils took an early lead when James Nolan sent a free kick into the box which was brought down and finished by Wheatley to open the scoring after seven minutes.

The same pairing combined again in the 25th minute with Nolan breaking down the left and finding Wheatley who rounded the keeper and tucked away his 10th goal of the competition.

[Credit: Ash Donelon]

City pulled a goal back in the 85th minute when Mfuni headed home from Divine Mukasa’s cross which set up a tense finish with the momentum with the Citizens.

The pressure almost paid off as Farid Alfa-Ruprecht headed goalwards from close range with seconds left on the clock but he was denied by a stunning fingertip save by Elyh Harrison.

That proved crucial as the final whistle followed shortly after confirming United as champions and Lawrence was really proud of his side’s performance.

Speaking to MUTV he said: “I am delighted for the boys. In terms of finals, in these types of games, they are decided by fine margins. In the second half, towards the end of the game, we really had to dig deep.

“If it’s a team that isn’t together and doesn’t have that spirit, they don’t get through that game and it goes to extra time or they lose it.

“In terms of that, and the togetherness of the group, I thought we were outstanding and that has helped us get over the line.”

“Overall, Manchester City are a good side and they posed us a lot of problems and towards the end, they caused us a problem. It was nice to get over the line and for us to have that moment.”

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